Home & Garden

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By Janet Armstrong, Certified Interior Designer, CAPS

Design and decor trends for 2020

Colours are going to be more saturated. PHOTO: JANET ARMSTRONG.

As I pen this month’s column, it’s hard to believe I’m already talking about trends for 2020, in fact I’ve already attended a webinar on trends for 2021 and attended a design show. But I digress, ‘trends’ is a word I typically do not like and do not usually use, as it seems to imply that everything has to change on the first day of January every year. In fact, the word I prefer is ‘evolving’ as we tend to experience the concepts, colours and designs for two to three years before they move on and during this time other ideas are being embraced and infused.

I recently had the opportunity to attend an interior design show — a not to be missed show for designers and decorators from around the world. A wide range of product companies showcase new products and discuss trends and new concepts in design and decor. While I wandered the trade floor and chatted with the company reps, I noticed a number of trends that will be informing design and decor in the coming months and years ahead. I want to share these trends to inspire you as you contemplate updates to your abode.


As you know, every paint company announces their ‘colour of the year’ and colours can vary greatly between the various companies. But do bear in mind, when a colour of the year is announced, there is also a colour palette that is developed to coordinate with and support that colour of the year. However, the one trend you will see in 2020 across all companies will be colours that are saturated — meaning they will be pure and intense regardless of what they are. Pantone has predicted the following are the colours we can expect to see:

  • red including maroon
  • pink as a prime colour in shades that range from blush to bright pink and violet
  • earthy burnished colours such as oranges and browns
  • yellow including yellow-based green that is vibrant and bright and invokes energy
  • green in brilliant rich shades
  • blues that are weathered and earthy, making you think of the colours found in the sea and sky
  • purple in shades ranging from pale to deeper, richer shades
  • neutrals, of course, but in earthy colour-based shades
Richer fabrics combined with earthy fabrics and textures are trending. PHOTO: JANET ARMSTRONG.

Richer fabrics and trims

I am loving the return of richer fabrics such as silks, satins and velvets. These fabrics bring beautiful texture and dimension to a room and just call out for you to touch!While these fabrics are very elegant and sophisticated, they can also be casual and cozy with the addition of embellishments such as fringe, lace or buttons.

Try combining these materials with a more earthy fabric such as burlap, cotton, linen or jute for a rich but soulful look and feel — think velvet pillows on a leather sofa or chair, linen pillows on a velvet sofa or burlap pillows on a cotton twill chair. These unexpected combinations will bring sophisticated casualness to your spaces and invite guests to relax and unwind.

Metallic finishes continue to appear. PHOTO: JANET ARMSTRONG.

Metallic finishes

Metallic finishes are not going away any time soon. I am loving the variety of colours available and use of textures such as a brushed look in the finishes. With the options of buttery brass, warm copper, brushed nickel and others not seen before —metallic colours (blue, red, pink, green, etc.) — there truly are options for every style and taste. Look for metallic finishes on table legs and bases, chair frames, decor items, cabinet and drawer-pulls and mirror frames just to name a few.


Natural textures will be found across all things design and decor. PHOTO: JANET ARMSTRONG.

Texture is definitely trending in everything design and decor related. You are going to see more natural textures appear such as those found in wood, stone and leather appearing in tiles, drawer pulls and knobs and decor accessories. Furniture is also embracing the texture trend with the use of channelling on the backs of chairs and sofas. Visual texture will be found in wallpaper, carpets and decor items including marble effects, geometric shapes and patterns and again nature — think leaves and flowers.

Inclusive design

Many of you are choosing to adapt your homes to ensure it is accessible, safe and comfortable in order to live in place. The range of inclusive products is growing every year and because they are based on Universal Design Principles (see my article in the January 2019 issue) the products are at once beautiful as well as supportive.

Watch for these design and decor trends to continue appearing in shelter magazines, on websites and in your favourite decor retail shops. And there’s no need to go big —adding even a few trending decor accessories will keep your spaces updated and add a fresh perspective to your rooms.

Inclusive products and design are increasingly available. PHOTO: JANET ARMSTRONG.

Janet Armstrong (simplyswankdecor.ca) is a graduate of the Interior Design Institute of Canada, CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) and a Director and Membership Chair with the Board of the Decorators and Designers Association of Canada (DDA Canada).